Itching to post behind the scene images and my experiences but that would mean spoilers so enjoy the trailer for now, more from me soon!!
Nominated for an Achievement in Makeup Oscar on January 24 were J. Roy Helland, an Emmy award winning makeup artist/hairstylist for Angels in America and prosthetic designer Mark Coulier, who won Emmy Awards for Arabian Nights and the 1998 Merlin.
It required an old age makeup to 86 years. To do so as perfectly as Mark’s team did, they used PlatSil gel 10 silicone prosthetic pieces made with Smith’s theatrical deadener at 170% softener.
The neck appliance had to be soft enough to get a good stretch but compressed without buckling, which is all about putting the edges in the right place and painting into the skin in the right way, getting the right softness of silicone.
The makeup also included a gelatin nose piece, which was also used in the younger Thatcher scenes, since gelatin is slightly firmer and would be more appropriate for that part of the brow. Silicone moves and wrinkles.
The forehead was free of prosthetic and stipple but instead did a lot of painting in Skin Illustrator. Bondo appliances were used to age underneath the eyes, wig roots are dyed slightly grayer, and old age stipple was used on the hands.
The process took 2 hours and 20 minute applied 46 times: the old age makeup 23 times, young 23 times.
The eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series is particularly known, in all installments for Ralph Fiennes‘ unrecognizable transformation into Lord Voldemort who, in this movie had to deteriorate as the Horcruxes containing his soul was destroyed. Mark Coulier did it very carefully so as not to look like the makeup was an edge of a prosthetic piece applied feebly.
Along with other creature effects, animatronics, loads of special effects, injuries, scars, movie dirt, grime, blood and intricate hairwork, it was a sure nomination.
But what caught the attention of makeup critics everywhere including myself was the beautifully designed silicone prosthetic pieces that made up the Goblins in Gringotts Bank. The characters wore full head, multi-piece silicone appliances, black lenses, fake nails, punched eyebrows and hairline, one of which made the creature cover for makeup artist magazine issue 92 where I did most of my research.
The team had the daunting task of 40 prosthetic makeups & 20 background heads shot simultaneously over more than two years. Each shooting day had new appliances so the team had quite a number of perishable pieces in storage.
With 15 different nationalities of makeup artists it was essential to keep the team organized and that they did so by setting aside days for application demos, trials to see what kind of problems could arise until they got the application time down to 4 hours.
It was Katy Fray who suggested to have a set color palette which limited where they could go. They also used the same glue and removers making it unified. Creature designer Nick Dudman says, “We were very disciplined about it. On the first test day, people would come up and say, ‘Can I use my own palette…or this or that?’ but we had already photographed what each makeup looked like, we knew what the tones and colors looked like and each piece had been pre-painted, so I didn’t want anybody painting over them just because they had a better idea. I did wonder what would we would get if I let some of these people loose, but I just didn’t have that luxury. They had all been hired for their skill in applying these makeups neatly and accurately, as well as their ability to take instruction, and they were all brilliant.”
Photos courtesy of Make-up Artist Magazine.